poetry and poets

Monday, February 14, 2005

places i have slept, etc.

tony gallucci

places I have slept

Okay. Two years of 6-degree winters, abandoned schoolhouse floor, sleeping bags in La Selva Lacandona steam, my own cold room, Jackson Hole, Punta Chueca, Dallas, Uxmal, Texas' hottest town, Montana's coldest, six hurricanes, two tornadoes, a womb, four countries, four time zones, three months beginning with J, four ending in -er, one I can't spell, heater humming, phone ringing, curtains blowing, silent, snoring, mumbling, walking, falling, talking, dreaming, drooling, flooding, 39 consecutive hours ill, 21 hours well, on the floor in a house with 9 beds, a car, bus, plane, train, boat, ocean, valley, mesa, riverbed, mountaintop, sheet, blanket, quilt, mattress, bench, porch swing, chair, hammock, in church, in class, seminars, weddings, baseball, fort, hospital, hotel, friend's houses, apartments, dorms, the office, hut, hovel, hogan, tipi, wickiup, cardboard lean-to, metal shed, rest stop, roadside, ranch, farm, city, town, village, parks, wildlife refuge, KOA, with dogs, cats, coatis, mosquitoes, ants, mockingbirds, roaring howler monkeys, barking owls, the bellow of gators, thump of hooves, rustlings in a barn, a whiff of pigs, rooster alarms, clack of trains, whir of planes, play of kids, whisper of friends, things I never heard, radios tuned far away, blues at midnight, Dodgers in the ninth, evangelists in the belt, conjuntos in the valley, opry in the twilight, between cotton, nylon, silk, satin, buffalo, H2O, newspaper, wallpaper, limestone, brick, wallboard, sheetrock, spruce, sand, saguaro, mesquite, boulders, peaks, satellites, stars, comets, meteors, in fits, in stupor, in health, in peace, in hell, in heaven, in fact.

things i have eaten

Okay. Not, often, endangered hors d'oevres, steers, hogs, deer, dogs, chickens, pigeons, horses, mussels, vaseline, gasoline, castor oil, vinegar/oil, snowcones, lots of honey, ice, rice, meat, wheat, barley, hops, cherry drops, squished grapes, squashed tomatoes, squeezed oranges, mashed potatoes, tossed salads, scrambled eggs, over easy, fried up greasy, sunny side up, sliced, diced, baked, broiled, boiled, foiled, buttered, basted, barbecued, medium well, leave the moo, shakes, malts, straight, virgin, on the rocks, bagels, lox, salty fish, blackened reds, lobster claws, king crab legs, crawdad tails, pig's feet, mountain oysters, tender loins, chicken breasts, slice of tongue, entwined tongue, shoulders, fingers, elbows, knees, earlobes, big toes, sunburnt lips, unsunned lips, coral gloss, Virginia Slims, Canadiennes, demi-monde, brunettes, blondes, blacks and reds, dates, olives, mangoes, figs, dripping peach, aguacates, steers and pigs (more of each), weevils, ants, mosquitoes by accident, roaches on purpose, Florentine, English, German, Greek, French, Vietnamese, Thai, Szechuan, Cantonese, Korean, American, Narragansett, Huastec, Seri, Chol, Mexican, Tex-Mex, Cajun, slave, junior high, Junior League, Kiwanis, Rotary, Lions, Luby's, Denny's, Chuy's, four poisonings (twice at one joint), clams and squid and octopus but not oysters, no, not oysters, dirt but not filth, pork with a fork, ketchup on tomatoes, syrup on sausage, frijoles refritos, black-eyed peas, black beans, cotton seeds, cotton candy, candy corn, popcorn, cream corn, cream cheese, head cheese, cheddar cheese, squeezable cheese, rochefort, gruyere, truffles, Belgian chocolate, m&ms, beetle grubs, things unsaid and didn't ask, monkey steaks and cat tacos, coon stew, buzzard chili, filet mignon, shish-ka-bobs, s'mores, souvlaki, seven cubes of green jello in less than four seconds, stuffed artichokes, walnut cheesecake, guacamole, gua-gua, forks, knives, spoons, fingers, banana leaves, tortillas, pita, frybread, one course, five course, fast, slow, to celebrate, for honor, for award, for reward, full, in hunger, in a tux, in shorts, in sandals, in spats, prayers before, prayers after, prayers during, in, out, up, on, hallelujah, in communion, in despair, incoherent, incognito, in Chicago, in thanks.

tears i have cried

Okay. Failing to do right, arm on their shoulders when they come to school with bad haircuts and last year's clothes, not making enough to give away more than kept, movies, church, desert, beach, rage, fear, birth, death, age, youth, headaches, hammer on thumb, staple in finger, ingrown toe, can't, can't stop, for no reason, for everything, for nothing, for people, for dogs, for saints, for sinners, in pillows, in hands, indeed, of course, for, with, about, in spite of, because of, the things I have not tasted, the places I have not slept, the loves I never had, secrets never kept, those never shed, the lies come back to haunt, goodbyes never said, the stories never told, places never tread, the eyes that could not see, the ears that could not hear, time that got away, hurts that never healed, wounds that never closed, the minds that begged for answers, the answers I did not have, Grandma with the answers, Grandma with the garden, Papa abuelito y el tigre, Mee-ma, the cafeteria lady, the old man, the ones I have forgotten, the ones filed away, Uncle Doug I never knew except from the letters, brother John lost, Sister Theodore, Father Pat, Monsignor Doyle, Mother Theresa, Vince in those damned towers, Kelly in a suit he never wore, Lottie the velcrodog, King Cameron who almost never came back, the boys going off to college, the moms with boys gone off to college, Challenger, Oklahoma City, Tonkin, Manhattan, the Fifth Ward, the Teziutlan market, Desemboque when the cars pull in, thirty-one wrecks, thirty-six services, beer and LSD and stupidity, things i can't control, political hell, floodwater fury, Livingston mornings, Alpine nights, goodbye 'til next year, the team, wet wind whipping across her pasture, the road past her house, the light from her window, the whisper from her heart, you.